EssaysFeaturePsycheSex & Gender

Sick Bodies, Hysterical Pregnancies, ISIS Wives

Conversion Disorder

I wonder if “conversion disorder” — a classical psychiatric term for the conversion of psyche into soma in the form of psychosomatic issues — could be one way of thinking about the present. Especially with so many patients complaining of bodily symptoms, armed at times with cadres of healers; with so many seeking recourse to pharmacological treatments or bodily modification of various sorts, plastic and otherwise; with young men and women seemingly willing to direct violence at any-body, including themselves, in the name of powerful religious ideals.  Something increasingly insists on the level of the …

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CapitalismEssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionPsycheRaceScienceSex & Gender

Patriarchy Alive and Well: CDC Releases New Guidelines for Alcohol & Pregnancy

Earlier this week the United States Center for Disease Control (the CDC) released yet more guidelines for women of “reproductive age”. These guidelines take what could be seen as a draconian, or perhaps more bluntly, a misogynous stance of recommending that all women of reproductive age who do not use contraception avoid alcohol altogether. For women, drinking alcohol, as the CDC materials detail, results  in “unintended pregnancy, fertility issues, sexually transmitted diseases, …

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EssaysFeatureMedia/PublicsPsycheScienceSex & Gender

Libidinal Ecology: Sex and the Anthropocene (II)

The May 2015 issue of National Geographic features an article entitled, “Quest for a Superbee.” This piece is illustrated by a series of extreme photographic close-ups of bees with pieces of technology attached to their bodies. One caption reads: “A syringe places a minute droplet of phenotrin on a honeybee — sedated in a paper cup — to test the effects of the potent insecticide. . . .” Another photo shows a queen with a bright yellow number 87 on her back, with the caption, “Scientists are now developing hygienic . . . 

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CapitalismEssaysFeatureMedia/PublicsSex & Gender

Libidinal Ecology: Sex and the Anthropocene (I)

In 2013, reports starting circulating in the media that the global best-seller 50 Shades of Grey was beginning to outstay its welcome as a cultural artifact. In the UK alone, it sold 5.3 million copies to that point, even before the film based on the story was released. A large percentage of these books ended up in charity stores. Unfortunately, these stores could not resell the books, nor pulp them safely. As the Telegraph newspaper reported at the time: “the country has amassed a ‘paper mountain’ of unwanted copies . . . 

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